For anyone who has felt exiled from the rest of the family while trying to soothe or feed a fussy infant, the new Brentwood nursery of Giuliana and Bill Rancic will be a welcome design.
The nautical theme may have been inspired by the television personalities’ love of the ocean, but their interior designer, Lonni Paul of Lonni Paul Design, knew from personal experience that the nursery needed to be more than just a pleasant place for a baby to sleep.
“There needs to be a place for the family to get together,” said Paul, the mother of 6-year-old twins.
To create a space where E! News personality Giuliana and “Apprentice” winner Bill could congregate with family, the designer anchored the nursery with a velvet sofa from Walter E. Smithe.
“I include a love seat or couch in every nursery I design,” Paul said. “It allows the whole family to be included in the arrival of the new baby.”
The designer also added the Ettienne glider from the Petitnest line she launched in 2010 with actress Tiffani Thiessen, as well as the gray-stained crib. So the nursery could grow along with baby, Paul chose a changing table that could function as a dresser once the Rancics’ son, Duke, no longer needs diapers.
Paul also hung textured aqua grasscloth from Phillip Jeffries as the wall covering and chose classic decorative accents such as a Ralph Lauren floor lamp, nautical accents from Two’s Company and a zigzag flat-weave rug from Dwell Studio. A high-gloss gray bookshelf and baskets came from Ikea, a mohair throw and lamp were from Serena & Lily, and a pair of ottomans from Restoration Hardware were just $129 apiece.
“Ottomans are such a great thing in a nursery,” Paul said. “It’s so nice for parents to be able to pull one up and immediately get comfortable."
Some of Paul’s other nursery tips:
Test the glider: “The glider is an important piece,” she said. “I sat in a lot of gliders where the arms were not right. You can get a kink in your neck if you don’t get it right. Pay attention. Hold your arm the way you’ll be holding your baby.” The one in the Rancics’ nursery is upholstered in linen that can be cleaned with soap and water.
Invest in furniture: Spend less on accessories, because you’ll be changing them anyway as the baby grows. If you don’t have a big budget, Paul suggests placing a waterproof changing pad on top of a dresser or a twin bed. (“You can sleep with the baby and not wake up your spouse,” she said.)
Remember safety: Paul installed custom linen blinds in the Rancic nursery with a soft blockout material. The blinds are controlled with a breakaway cord to avoid strangulation. “If a baby pulls on these cords, they break away,” Paul said. “It’s a great way to childproof any room.”
Look up: The room’s beams prevented a chandelier from being installed, as originally planned. In its place, Paul hung a boat frame from Restoration Hardware with heavy-duty fishing line tied to picture hangers on the ceiling. “I thought it would be so cool to hang a ship mobile,” she said. “It is so whimsical, and the baby can look up and see it from his crib.”
Reconsider the palette: Nurseries don’t have to be pink or blue. “I could easily put a girl in this room,” Paul said.